Bill Cosby civil trial jury to begin deliberations on Monday

Bill Cosby civil trial jury to begin deliberations on Monday

Bill Cosby civil trial jury to begin deliberations on Monday

After two days of deliberation in which they adjudicated almost every question put before them, jurors decided in a civil trial sexual abuse allegations against Bill Cosby have to start all over again on Monday.

By the end of the hearing Friday, the Los Angeles County jury had reached a consensus on whether Cosby sexually assaulted Plaintiff Judy Huth at the age of 16 in 1975 at the Playboy Mansion, and whether Huth deserved any damages. In all, they had answered eight of the nine questions on their verdict, all but one of them asking whether Cosby acted in a manner that would require compensation.

Judge Craig Karlan, who promised a juror when she agreed to serve that she could leave after Friday on a previous commitment, ruled over the objections raised by Cosby’s attorneys to rule on the questions the jury answered. accept and read. But he had to change course when deputies from the Santa Monica courthouse showed up and demanded that he clear the courtroom. The courthouse has a required closing time of 4:30pm as there is no budget for overtime deputies

Karlan refused to demand that the outgoing juror, who was chosen as foreman, return on Monday, so the jurors will have to start over with a deputy in her place.

“I won’t go back on my word,” Karlan said.

It was a bizarre end to a strange day of jury deliberations. It started with a comment to the judge about what he called a “personality issue” between two jurors that made their job more difficult.

After calling them to the courtroom and agreeing that each juror would be heard in the discussions, the jurors moved on, but were presented with a steady stream of questions about issues with their verdict for the judge and attorneys to discuss and answer. One question was about calculating damage.

After the lunch break, Cosby attorney Jennifer Bonjean pleaded a mistrial over a photo taken by a member of Cosby’s team that showed a juror near a Cosby prosecutor who had sat in the audience watching the trial.

Karlan said the photo did not indicate that a conversation had taken place, and quickly dismissed the annulment and obtained assurances from the juror in question, and then the entire jury, that no one had discussed the matter with them.

The plaintiff, Los Angeles artist Lily Bernard, who has filed her own lawsuit against Cosby in New Jersey, denied having spoken to jurors.

“I’ve never spoken to a juror,” Bernard told the judge from her seat in the courtroom. “I would never do anything to jeopardize this case. I don’t even look at them.”

Karlan fought to get over the hurdles and keep jurors deliberating for as long as possible, keeping lawyers, reporters and court staff in the courtroom ready to flee once a verdict was read, but it was ultimately fruitless.

The judges began deliberating Thursday morning after a two-week trial.

Cosby, 84, who was released from prison when his Pennsylvania criminal conviction was dismissed nearly a year ago, was not present. He denied any sexual contact with Huth in a clip from a 2015 video deposit that was shown to jurors. The denial was repeated during the trial by his spokesperson and his lawyer.

In controversial closing arguments, Bonjean urged the jurors to look past the public allegations against Cosby and consider only the trial evidence, which she said was no match for the evidence of Huth’s case.

Huth’s attorney Nathan Goldberg told jurors that Cosby should be held responsible for the damage he caused his client.

The Associated Press does not normally name people who claim to have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as both Huth and Bernard have done.